‘Is what he’s done worse than racism?’ – Antonio speaks out on Zouma

Lewis Oldham
West Ham star Antonio

West Ham United forward Michail Antonio has responded to the controversy surrounding his teammate Kurt Zouma.

Earlier this week, footage emerged of the defender kicking and slapping his pet cat. West Ham “unreservedly condemned” his actions. Despite this, he started for the Londoners on Tuesday night against Watford.

Zouma played the full 90 minutes as his side beat Roy Hodgson’s men 1-0 at the London Stadium.

Did you really expect Moyes and West Ham to axe cat-kicker Zouma?

It was revealed on Wednesday that the RSPCA had taken two cats away from Zouma. It was also confirmed that the player had been fined the “maximum amount” possible.

This is two weeks wages which is around £250,000. The club are donating this money to animal charities.

Antonio was questioned about Zouma’s actions when arriving at West Ham’s training ground on Thursday morning:

“I’ve got a question for you,” Antonio responded (via The Daily Mail).

“Do you think, what he’s done is worse than racism?

“I’m not condoning a thing that he’s done – I don’t agree with a thing that he’s done at all.

“But there’s people that have been convicted in court for racism and that has played football afterwards. They got punished, they got an eight-game ban or something like that.

“But people are now calling for [Zouma] to be sacked, people to be sacked and lose their livelihood.

“I’ve just got to ask this question to everyone out there is, is what he’s done worse than what the people have done who have been convicted for racism?”

Rio Ferdinand claims West Ham should have doled out more than a £250,000 fine to Zouma for the abuse of his pet cat:

“Looking at it, is £250,000 going to really affect the millionaire footballers that we have today? Probably it’s going to be a dent but it’s not going to make him limp.”

Adding if being dropped by West Ham will have more of an effect: “But, is missing a game going to affect him?

“Yes it will more than the financial implications because then it affects his team-mates and the environment, position in the league.

“So, the way you deal with these players, I think monetary is secondary when you look at these situations.”